Monday, January 27, 2014

Preparing for Cinder

     Friday Brian asked me if we had everything we need and everything done  toward preparing for Cinder's arrival. When I got out my "Puppy Preparation Checklist," I thought I may never hear the end of the teasing about my organization.  I'm known among family and friends as being somewhat obsessed with organization, so pulling out another checklist made Brian shake his head and let the jokes fly. However, once he went through the list he realized there were some things on it we hadn't done yet. Ha ha - who's laughing now? He admitted that maybe the checklist was a good idea.
          Last week, we went through the house looking for all the potential hazards we could spot.  Since we already have the house "dog proofed" for the older boys, there were only a few concerns.  We became aware of a couple "webs of wonder." I mean those collections of electrical or cable cords that just can't be hidden by furniture and for various reasons, routing them differently isn't possible. We used PVC pipe to encompass those ugly cord webs in a way to make them less likely to attract a curious puppy.

     This weekend we tackled creating a custom sized homemade sliding gate system for our laundry hall that will now be known as, "Cinders Condo."  She needs a secure zone for those times we can't immediately supervise her-like when I have to go get more puppy & dog food! Our home has a laundry hallway instead of a laundry room, typical of many 1950-1970's ranch homes. The laundry hall has an open doorway off the kitchen and a doorway off the master bedroom at the opposite end. There is a space beside the washer and dryer that we use as linen storage above a laundry folding counter, with nothing below. It's a perfect location for a large dog crate with ample space for movement on that hall. The hallway is an odd width making it difficult and expensive to buy a gate; the wooden expandable gates aren't safe for small or teething puppies; and tension gates are a pain to use as anything more than temporary.  Customizing the gate proved cheap and easy since we came up with a solution for which we had most of the materials.  We created a sliding plywood gate mounted on two heavy duty drawer slides attached to the wall on one side and inserted into a piece of aluminum "U" channel mounted to the opposite wall.  We cut holes in it to allow some visibility and better airflow.  The fridge sits in front of the wall to which we attached the drawer slides so it hides the slides from open view. We couldn't paint it because of the extreme cold in our garage so the paint will wait until spring or summer (I need to repaint the kitchen anyway). Cost of the project was a mere $9.00 for a half sheet of plywood. We have another gate at the bedroom end of the hallway so we can leave the bedroom door open to hear Cinder at night and generally keep her from being totally isolated when she has to be contained.

The custom sliding gate when closed.
Buzz questions the need for a new gate there.
    Other puppy prep included getting a few things at PetSmart. We didn't take the Border boys because weather conditions were miserable and we don't want to endanger them with a road trip in bad conditions. PetSmart was fun-so many things to spend money on, so little money to
spend! Brian was like most guys eyeing the toys and gadgets,  wondering how cool it is for the human to play with the puppy toys. Before we knew it, we'd spent over two hours at PetSmart-without the dogs! We are obviously easily entertained. We did manage to get a few things for Cinder without going over the available budget-mission accomplished.
    Tonight I can confidently say we are ready for our new puppy and the adventures of raising Cinder! All that remains now is to hurry up and wait to pick her up. It's going to be a long week of waiting as the weather strikes a cold, hard blow with windchill advisories already in place due to extremes that are likely to hinder or halt everything for a couple days this week.

Have a good week! Stay safe and warm! 


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